As I found the progression of my Bible readings reaching the short, four-chapter book called Ruth, I admit I didn’t think I was going to get much out of it. As I had read it a dozen or so times previously, and being happily married, I wasn’t on the lookout for the “perfect Boaz”, as is so often the interpretation from this book. However, I was up to that book in my readings and, knowing it was short, I thought I’d skim through it. How wrong I was!
I got stuck on chapter two. It didn’t speak to me of matchmaking, it spoke to me of the rewards of a hard-working woman, and it was like water to my soul.
A good work ethic
If you’re anything like me, you’re determined to work hard and work well at what God has put on your heart to do while still balancing all the balls in the air of family, friends and household management.
Well, with God’s help and wisdom, we can do all that He has entrusted us with, and at just the right time, He will develop what He began in us for the purposes of His plan. If you haven’t read the book of Ruth, I suggest you do.
Here are some great promises and wisdom from Ruth chapter 2:
1. God has seen your hard work, and it has been (or will be) noticed by those that matter.
“…she came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 6)
2. Don’t be deterred from the work that God has given you to do. Keep doing what you’re doing and stay within the safety of His ‘field’.
‘So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women that work for me.”’ (Ruth chapter 2 verse 8)
3. God will protect you so that your work is valued and rewarded. God is our defender and protector.
“Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you.” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 9)
4. Look after yourself, don’t get worn out, refresh often.
“And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 9)
5. Maintain a posture of humility.
“Why have I found such favour in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 10)
6. Whether you are a business owner or an employee, treat people well:
“You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 13)
7. God will elevate in his time. Boaz invited Ruth to his table.
“Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 14)
8. God’s plan is over and above what we can imagine:
‘When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over.’ (Ruth chapter 2 verse 14)
9. Trust God to watch over you, to provide and protect.
“Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
10. God will reward in His time. Though Naomi (Ruth’s mother-in-law) had been through a time of famine in the past, at this point in time, they had returned as widows to a land of harvest and Ruth’s hard work paid off. She brought home more than she could eat; she brought home enough to share with others through the kindness of Boaz’s generosity.
‘So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.’ (Ruth chapter 2 verses 17-18)
Blessings for the righteous
Boaz blessed the kindness and hard work of Ruth.
“May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 12)
Naomi blessed the kindness of the man who noticed and generously provided for her and Ruth.
“May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” (Ruth chapter 2 verse 20)
Whether you are a business owner in charge of many employees, or an employer working for a business owner, when we honour the Lord with our hard work, honesty, kindness, fairness, and when we value others, we in turn will be blessed.
Ruth’s hard work and efforts brought protection, generosity, provision, and blessing to others as well as herself. Boaz’s kindness and fairness in his role as a leader over his workers brought him blessing and increased honour throughout the land.
When we adopt an attitude of valuing the gifts that God has given, when we don’t give up but persevere through what we know is the path God has chosen for us and keep an attitude of humility, God will lift us up in His timing. He sees and knows and rewards.
‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter chapter 5 verses 6-8)
©Rebecca Moore 2020